What Is Computer Spying? The Effective Methods to Track Employees
As companies switch to remote work and integrate technology into the traditional office, computer spying has become a legitimate concern for employees and employers alike. But as we address these concerns, it is important to keep in mind the difference between computer spying and employee monitoring.
Computer spying entails collecting and recording another user’s digital activities for intrusive purposes, such as stalking or blackmail. Whereas employee monitoring entails monitoring an employee’s work activities to track their performance.
Read below to learn more about the difference between the two and whether it is legal to monitor employees.
What is Computer Spying?
Computer spying refers to the act of covertly monitoring another person’s computer activities and data.
This can be done through the use of spyware, which includes applications, software programs, and devices that allow an unauthorized individual to obtain access to another computer. More recently, the term “stalkerware” has been used to highlight the harmful, invasive, and invasive ways in which these technologies are used.
Spyware is capable of recording nearly all of your online activities, such as the websites you visit, the chats or instant messages you send and receive, and the documents you have access to.
It can also enable the intruder to activate the microphone or webcam, record screen captures, make the computer generate sounds or speech, or even power down or restart the device.
The intruder can also remotely manage your computer or monitor your activities, typically through a website dashboard or other accompanying application.
What is Employee Monitoring?
Employee monitoring refers to the act of gathering and analyzing data about employee performance and activities while they are on the job. This data may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- computer activity,
- internet browsing history,
- correspondence via email,
- phone calls,
- location monitoring, and more.
The basic goal of employee monitoring is to obtain insight into the activities and performance of employees.
Is Employee Monitoring and Computer Spying the Same Thing?
Computer spying and employee monitoring are not the same thing.
The primary difference between monitoring and intrusion is that the former involves keeping tabs on employees ‘ activities and their progress in various tasks and the latter involves obtaining private information about your employees that is unrelated to your company.
The essential difference between the two lies in the intent and how the data is used.
When Does Employee Monitoring Become An Issue?
Employee monitoring is a strategic tool that should be employed to optimize business processes. However, this is a slippery slope and some companies go too far in their pursuit of a more efficient workplace.
These types of monitoring activities can take the following forms, and they can result in significant levels of privacy violations committed by the business toward its employees:
- Gathering personal data
- Failing to be transparent with employees
- Monitoring workers while off the clock
The Major Implications of Unethical Employee Monitoring
To build trust with your employees and keep things transparent at work, you need to be aware of the major ethical implications of employee monitoring.
Violation of Privacy
The main reason why workers are uneasy with being monitored is because they view it as an invasion of their privacy. Employees may feel uncomfortable if they are constantly monitored based on their computer and internet usage while they are on the job.
This may be even more significant for employees who are being monitored for the very first time; considering that they have never been tracked before, they might have a higher expectation of privacy than other workers.
In many jurisdictions and countries, the practice of tracking employees without obtaining their consent may be considered seriously unethical. In such cases, a company can not only find itself in legal trouble but also run the risk of losing the trust of its employees.
The easiest way to avoid this is to inform your employees about the data that you will be monitoring and to follow the monitoring protocols that are specific to your country or state.
Diminished Trust and Morale
Monitoring employees might result in feelings of mistrust and animosity within the company. This is especially true if it is done discreetly. Checking someone’s activity on social media or in private communications for the sake of safety can convey the wrong message.
Of course, there is a possibility that some employees might behave inappropriately or put the company’s data at risk. Nonetheless, it is important to have some faith in your employees; otherwise, you risk damaging their motivation, output, and performance on the job.
Using Wolfeye As an Ethical Monitoring Tool
It is important to approach employee monitoring with an open, collaborative, and transparent mindset. To be successful in the long term, you need to select a monitoring solution that is capable of doing the same thing.
Wolfeye places a high priority on protecting the privacy of employees. It focuses on the power of data and analytics to increase employee productivity in a way that is beneficial to all parties involved.
This helps create a more positive culture in the workplace, one in which everyone can thrive. Wolfeye believes in the openness and significance of data, not for spying but to empower employees.
The following is a list of the various powerful features that make Wolfeye the most effective software for increasing employee productivity:
Effective Reporting Tools
Wolfeye provides comprehensive insights into employee activity by automatically generating analytical reports. This can help managers identify the strengths and weaknesses of their employees along with how to address them.
Customized Monitoring Hours
With Wolfeye, managers can customize the monitoring hours to make sure employees are only monitored while they are on the clock. This helps avoid potential violations of privacy and other data breaches.
Wolfeye allows managers to customize various settings to make the software more accommodating for employees. This helps prevent micromanagement, protects employee privacy at work, and gives them more independence.
So, while computer spying is an act intended to bring harm to another individual, employee monitoring, if done right, is quite the contrary. It can be used to empower both employers and employees.